Keeping our bodies physically active throughout our lives can help prevent such health issues as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Exposure to fun ways of play at a young age will help instill the importance of physical activity and motivate our youth to incorporate exercise into their daily lives. The Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative seeks to support programs that expose and educate our youth and their families to the benefits of staying active and actually get them moving.
KaBOOM! is one of our key partners in motivating our youth and increasing physical activity within our communities.
Children need to be physically active, and they need safe places to play. For this reason, we have teamed up with KaBOOM! to expand the access to play within the communities we serve. With the help of KaBOOM!, we select a community partner to create access to play and build a safe playground where one did not exist before. The entire community is involved with this process and partners with our employees to build a playground in one day. Not only does this increase exposure and access to play within a community, it creates a sense of pride and satisfaction as the entire community is involved in the process and is responsible for maintaining the playground after it is built. It's amazing to see a community transform after KaBOOM! gets involved and we’re thrilled to be part of the process.
Throughout 2012, we partnered with KaBOOM! to build 11 new playgrounds, increasing exposure to safe play for an estimated 11,772 children. Something new in 2012 was the addition of shade structures to four playgrounds built in previous years to expand access to play during hot summer months, in addition to providing skin care protection. Another 8,000 children benefitted from these shade structures and five playgrounds will receive these shade structures in 2013. Additionally, Imagination Playgrounds were provided to three different community partners so that they could provide access to indoor play for the children who participate in their programs. Over 12,000 children play on those indoor play structures annually. We’ve worked with KaBOOM! to build a total of 29 playgrounds over the last four years and are planning to build another 10 playgrounds in 2013, further strengthening our commitment to increase the amount of physical activity within our communities.